Just days after President Obama signed the historic legislation aimed at increasing coverage for the millions Americans without health insurance, companies are racing to warn shareholders of the increased expenses. No word on the costs local Kansas City companies like Sprint, Hallmark and Cerner but we can expect to hear more in the coming weeks.
As the days and weeks drag on, we can expect to see more announcements from large companies around the country. Although changes to benefits will not be immediate, it is only reasonable to assume that many will be looking for ways to reduce costs and/or pass these additional expenses onto employees. Verizon sent a letter to employees stating that changes in the law could have an impact on both retires and current employees.
Now it appears that some Democratic lawmakers are challenging the claims made by these companies. I guess that these public announcements don’t play into the game plan of convincing the American people that the new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs. Executives from Verizon, Caterpillar and John Deere have been asked to provide documentation to congressional committees by April 9th. Boeing and MetLife have also expressed concern that the changes could result in the coverage reductions and retirees shifting to Medicare Part D.